The Morning Skate: Backup battle between Sabres & Flames

It will be a showdown between countrymen as Henrik Karlsson and Jhonas Enroth will each get the nod for their respective team’s this evening at First Niagara Center.

The Flames are coming off a 4-1 over Detroit last night and are crawling to stay relevant in the West. Buffalo, one for their last five, is searching for some stability. Whether that is in net, on home ice or in the standings. The Sabres were two points back of the Maple Leafs and fourth in the Eastern Conference just over a week ago. They are now one point behind the Rangers and Hurricanes for eighth place.

A dismal start doomed the Sabres on Wednesday in a game that should not have brought about that type of effort. Ryan Miller wasn’t particularly sharp and the rest of the team could not have been worse. It seems as if Mike Weber will be back in the press box after a ho-hum outing against Philadelphia. I expect this is because Derek Roy was not very good on the power play point, not because Weber played poorly.

The bottom line for the Sabres is they need to find a 60-minute effort. They have yet to do so in quite some time and it is a major reason they have won only once in their last five attempts.

Highlighted Matchup

Chris Bulter vs. Robyn Regehr. This isn’t very fair to compare, considering Butler is a young, error-prone defenseman and Regehr has been a rock for the Sabres for much of the season. However, these two were essentially traded straight up for one another. Plus they are both skating on a premier pairing. Butler has been rolling with Jay Bouwmeester while Regehr has skated with Tyler Myers for all but one game this season. Also keep an eye out for Corey Tropp, he has that rare size/skill bundle that makes power forwards such a commodity. He would make things very difficult if he has a good showing in these four games.

Projected Goaltenders

BUF: Jhonas Enroth 3GP, 2-0-0, 1.39, .955 SV%

CGY: Henrik Karlsson 3GP, 0-1-1, 3.31 GAA, .881 SV%

Last Meeting

12/27/2010, Scotiabank Saddledome, Sabres 2 – Flames 5


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